Head of California Prison System Resigns

Jeffrey Beard, secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, has announced he plans to retire.

California’s top prison official is stepping down at the end of this year.

Jeffrey Beard, 68, will retire after three years as secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. In a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, Beard set Jan. 1 as the effective date of his departure.

Prior to his appointment to California’s highest correctional position, Beard worked for decades in Pennsylvania’s state prison system, including positions as corrections counselor, warden, classification and treatment supervisor, superintendent and executive deputy secretary.

In his letter, Beard said he and Brown had made “significant progress” meeting court orders to reduce overcrowding and improve health care. He added that “prisons are also safer now,” and that the corrections department had made progress stemming the flow of drugs behind bars and improving staff training.

 

Daniel Luzer is GOVERNING's news editor.